According to reports, Lionel Messi will sign a new contract with the Saudi Pro League, where he will play for a team that is an opponent of Cristiano Ronaldo’s. He is expected to earn £320 million (NZ$645 million) annually.
According to The Telegraph, the Saudi Arabian government plans to entice Messi to the Saudi Pro League by offering him the most lucrative salary package in football history.
PSG suspended Messi this week for traveling to Saudi Arabia without the club’s consent earlier in the week.
Messi would be suspended for two weeks and miss PSG’s upcoming matches. Without citing any sources, L’Equipe and RMC Sport both reported the suspension.
According to The Telegraph, negotiations are taking place with Messi’s representatives, who are being led by his father Jorge.
Although the Saudi Pro League team Messi would join is unknown, it is likely that it would be Al-Hilal, Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr team’s rival.
Ronaldo is the highest-paid athlete in the world, earning US$136 million total, $46 million of which came from on-field earnings, according to Forbes.com. With US$130 million over the past 12 months, Messi was ranked second. According to Forbes, Messi has made $1.15 billion USD (NZ$1.85 billion) over the course of his career, both on and off the field.
Messi, 35, has a business agreement with Saudi Arabia to advance travel to the nation in the Middle East.
The suspension occurs at a precarious moment because the French club wanted to extend the Argentine star’s contract past this season.
After PSG’s unexpected 3-1 loss to Lorient on Sunday, Messi’s trip came afterward, giving the defending champions a five-point lead over Marseille with five games remaining in the regular season. Messi completed the game.
The forward transferred from Barcelona to PSG two years ago in the hopes of inspiring the squad to the elusive Champions League championship. Instead, the club supported by Qatar has lost twice in the round of 16 in a row.
There have been rumors about where he will play next, particularly following reports that contract negotiations with PSG have fallen through. A few PSG supporters have even booed Messi due to the team’s erratic season.
Argentina won the World Cup in December under Messi’s leadership. He currently leads the French league with 15 assists and 15 goals scored in the league.
On his social media accounts, Messi hasn’t made any remarks about the suspension in the open.